Top 10 Best-Selling Light Novels of 2021, Re:ZERO, Sword Art Online, and More

Oricon has finally released their year-end list for the Best-Selling Light Novels (By Series) of 2021 and unsurprisingly Demon Slayer has managed to top even this chart as well.

The Demon Slayer Light Novel series sold a total of 776,320 copies in the fiscal year of 2021. The beloved shonen franchise has three light novels and the latest of them titled Kimetsu no Yaiba: The Wind’s Telltale Signs was released back in July 2020. The aforementioned light novel sold over 208,000 copies this year.

The light novel version of the movie Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train was also in the Top 10 selling over 287,000 copies within this fiscal year.

READ MORE: Top 25 Best-Selling Manga Series of 2021 (So Far)

Meanwhile, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime finished off its stellar year with the light novel series selling over 597,000 copies in 2021. This immense success of the series this year could be credited to the second season of the TV anime which resulted in the huge sales of backlogs of light novels alongside home release discs for the anime and merchandise. The manga adaptation of the series also had a really impressive year as it was the 14th Best-Selling Manga Series of 2021 selling over 2.93 million copies.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime will be returning next year with a movie continuation. 

The Apothecary Diaries is another Light Novel series that managed to make the Top 25 Best-Selling Manga Series of 2021 selling over 1.88 million copies with its manga adaptation. Meanwhile, the light novel is the third Best-Selling Light Novel Series of 2021 with 496,626 copies sold this year.

Re:ZERO: Starting Life in Another World is another isekai that is in the Top 5 and is probably not a surprise to many people. The series is already highly acclaimed and beloved among the community and its splendid Season 2 aired its second cour this winter and pretty much swept both the Anime Trending and Anime Corner Awards Season. Re:ZERO was fourth on the list this year and sold 424,173 copies.


The biggest surprise in the list is probably The Detective is Already Dead outshining Classroom of the Elite even after the lackluster anime adaptation it got.

While it was not exactly a The Promised Neverland situation for Tanmoshi, the success of the light novel series sure proves that good source material will often prevail despite however, the anime adaptation might turn out.

The Detective is Already Dead sold 367,984 copies and was in the fifth-place while one of the biggest light novel series of all time, Classroom of the Elite sold 306,355 copies with its Second Year run and took sixth place.

It should be noted that the actual number for the entirety of the Classroom of the Elite series in fact may indeed be high enough to put it in Top 5.

NEXT: Top 20 Best-Selling Anime of 2021 in Japan; Jujutsu Kaisen Ranks Second

Sword Art Online has always had a strong and consistent year since first blowing off to popularity and this year remains to be no exception. The series took the seventh spot selling 305,408 copies.

Sword Art Online also released its Aria of a Starless Night movie recently which is an adaptation of the Sword Art Online: Progressive Light Novels and is a retelling of the original story from Asuna’s point of view. The movie has made over $9 million in the Japanese Box Office.

Meanwhile, Jujutsu Kaisen has also made the Top 10 with its light novel, Jujutsu Kaisen: Soaring Summer and Returning Autumn that sold 259,960 copies and is 9th on this year’s list. The Jujutsu Kaisen manga on the other hand is the Biggest Hit of 2021 and has sold over 30 million copies this year.

Osamake is the final entry in the Top 10 for 2021, the series which got an anime adaptation in Spring 2021 from Doga Kobo has sold 248,744 copies within this fiscal year and is probably the biggest surprise from this year’s list. You can check out the full chart below.

Top 10 Best-Selling Light Novel Series of 2021:

  1. Demon Slayer- 776,320
  2. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime- 597,819
  3. The Apothecary Diaries- 496,626
  4. Re:ZERO: Staring Life in Another World- 424,173
  5. The Detective is Already Dead- 367,984
  6. Classroom of the Elite 2nd Year- 306,355
  7. Sword Art Online- 305,408
  8. Demon Slayer: The Movie: Mugen Train- 287,310
  9. Jujutsu Kaisen: Soaring Summer and Returning Autumn- 259,960
  10. Osamake: Romcom Where The Childhood Friend Won’t Loose- 248,744.

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Source: Oricon.

What are your picks for Best Light-Novels of 2021? Comment below and let us know if any of your favorite light novels made this list for the Best-Selling Light Novels for 2021.

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